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Have you got erotic capital?

It can be just as valuable as a university degree—especially for women

By Catherine Hakim   April 2010

Katie Price, aka Jordan, does not owe her astonishing success to university

Michelle and Barack Obama have it. Carla Bruni and David Beckham have it. Jordan has even made a career from it. So great is the advantage “erotic capital” can bring to the labour market—especially in sport, the arts, media and advertising—that it often outweighs educational qualifications.

It’s a term I coined to refer to a nebulous but crucial combination of physical and social attractiveness. Properly understood, erotic capital is what economists call a “personal asset,” ready to take its place alongside economic, cultural, human and social capital. It…

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